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Jack Grealish is off to Manchester City

A romantic story ends with a disappointing ending after yet another dramatic summer

Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa - Premier League
Exit stage right
Photo by Rob Newell - CameraSport via Getty Images

This day was always possible. For the last few summers the number one question has been “Can the club keep Jack Grealish away from the ‘top’ clubs?” The answers was yes. The answer now is no.

Captain and boyhood Villa supporter has left the club for a record transfer fee and joining Manchester City. I’m not putting up a picture of him holding the shit. Nope.

Club CEO Christian Purslow released a video on VillaTV confirming the move — and confirming that it was done using a £100million release clause from a Champions League Team. He also praised the currently players at the squad and said Emi Buendia, Leon Bailey & Danny Ings were brought in as a trio to replace the qualities of Jack.

Watch full statement —

I — much like you — likely have alot of thoughts and emotions. It will take time. The first thing I am going to ask of you dear reader is to not take to social media to send personal insults. Don’t be that person. Don’t make us “that club”.

I think my overwhelming initial feeling is disappointment. We never got to see Aston Villa push for the top of the table with Jack Grealish leading the team. That was going to be the goal of this year. With Milner and company a decade or so ago, we saw that team come up short... but we got to see the push. Now it feels like Jack is leaving right before the puzzle is complete. That isn’t to say it would have succeeded mind you, but it would have been wonderful to get the chance.

The move is also a statement about the state of football and the League overall. I think that is a tangent to this and I’m going to try not to go down that rabbit hole.

Jack Grealish was a wonderful player for Aston Villa. The best player I’ve seen in my time supporting the club. The romance of his story is undeniable. But, much like many situations of high romance, disappointment is the finish.

Jack also released a statement on Twitter.

The club faces a set of challenges. You need to replace Jack off the field with a sum of the parts approach. You need to replace Jack in terms of the crowd excitement and passion of the supporter base. And you need to replace Jack as part of selling the vision of the club to new players. None of those are easy but NWSE has earned my trust.

(Editor’s note: The above paragraph was written before the Ings announcement, so clearly with his arrival along with the other transfers, the moves are already being made.)

Up the Villa!